Teen girls show they aren't 'too pretty' to box in Santa Monica

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- Maria Ashna and Rianna Williams both say they like to get a workout and also want to punch things.

We've all been taught not to hit people, but at TooPrettyBrand boxing camp, owner Cary Williams teaches people how to strike a punch, properly.

"I grew up in a really tough neighborhood and you were not the person that throws the first punch. I was taught to defend myself," Williams said.

Williams started boxing in 1998 and was told that she didn't have the face for it.

"People would say, 'You're too pretty to be a fighter. You're going to mess up your face,'" she said. "It's kind of telling me that maybe they think I'm not capable of being a great boxer because of my appearance."

Her gym offers classes for everyone. And, at an all-girl teen session they're learning to box while also getting fit.

"We were attracted to it because it was for teen girls, specifically," said parent Julie Miyahira, of Santa Monica.

Williams said she and parents see improvements in the girls right away.

"I see the difference and their parents see the difference in their self confidence," she said.

They work the speed bag, practice jab combinations, body weight exercises and hit those heavy bags, too.

These girls use their arms - and that means a lot of upper body work. They also use their legs as it takes a lot of strength to drive a punch. But the most important thing? Your core.

"All of our punches come from the core. It really just shrinks up your whole mid section and gives you those abs that everybody's looking for," Williams said.

The twice-a-week month-long camp runs $299 and includes hand wraps, gear and a knockout workout.
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